Monday, February 27, 2017

Trials and Blessings

Dear Dad,

As far as things go here though, they are ok. 

Our area isn't doing too great. We haven`t had a baptism since December and we might not have a baptism this month, either. My companion has been discouraged, which has been somewhat difficult. I get along with him well. He has taught me a lot and I admire his commitment and his desire to stay faithful to the gospel, but he doesn't want to be in our area anymore, which has been hard. He will be leaving when this most recent change ends, which will be 28 February. I will be sad to see him go because he has been a good companion, but these last couple weeks have been difficult for him. He is also the leader of a district where several of the missionaries struggle to get along, which has been stressful for him as well. He is also afraid to go home because no one in his family is active and he doesn't have friends in the Church in his hometown, so he is worried that he will not have the support system he needs to be active in the church after his mission. It is sad. I feel bad for him. I hope he doesn't go inactive and if he does, that he finds his way back sooner rather than later. 

As far as the week goes for me there wasn't anything too special I have noticed, though, that I`m just kind of coasting, which is very dangerous. I`m not trying as hard as I should be to find and teach. I`m putting in the minimal effort and getting no results as a result. I didn't even really notice it right away, but suddenly I realized I was just kind of sitting here in Peru, letting the days go by. I`m trying to change that. We can`t progress if we don't act, and the more we act, the more we will progress. Also I can't invite people to come unto to Christ if I`m not working as hard as I can to help them understand the gospel and understand what they need to do to receive the blessings of the Gospel in their lives. I`m hoping this week I can change. I know we can't expect change to be instant, but for me, when I think like that, I sometimes feel like I can just put changing off until later. We can't though. We can't wait to change because we need to spend ever day we have on the earth trying to change. We can't become like the Savior if we don't spend every day trying to change.  

Here's a cool story from my district. Two sisters had a baptism scheduled on Saturday. The wife of the old man, a somewhat physically handicapped man (he has a hard time getting around), does not like the church and said that if the sisters tried to help her husband go to the church to get baptized she would call the police. She also apparently said a lot of other rude things too, but that happens. Anyway, the mission president said that the sisters shouldn't try to contact the man, that if he wanted to get baptized he would contact them. I know about all of this because my companion is the district leader and the week before he performed the man`s baptismal interview. I saw the man and he looked like any old Peruvian dude. When I heard that he would need to contact the sisters I thought that wasn't gonna happen. I didn't think he would put in the effort. 

A few hours later, he called the sisters , crying, saying that his wife left the house and he wanted them to come pick him up for his baptism. He was baptized. It was humbling for me and gave me a new perspective on the people around me. I don't get to decided who is going to accept the Gospel and who isn't. I don't have the right to do that. No one does.

As always, I love you and miss you. Please work to find strength in the scriptures and in prayer. They will help you have strength when you feel like you will be weak.

I hope your week is great. It has been around 4 months since I have left, which is crazy to think about. It doesn't feel like it has been that long. It is going by very fast. I look forward to seeing you again. I love you and miss you.

Elder McMurray 

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